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Accelerate to Success: Frequently Asked Questions

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What changes are happening to developmental courses? 

Hawai‘i Community College is accelerating the developmental English and math courses that are below the 100 level. These course progressions are being modified so that students can decrease the amount of time it takes to complete their degrees and certificates. 

Why are these changes being made? 

Sometimes it takes students two years before they get through developmental classes. This can create a barrier and many students drop out before they can even get to the college-level courses, succeed and then graduate. Data across the US shows that students can be successful in accelerated learning environments and that decreasing the time to degree is improving persistence and completion rates .

The goal is to provide the right student support and an accelerated developmental course track to increase the number of students reaching 100-level classes. We want them to get there faster so they have a greater chance of graduating. 

What’s an example of this change? 

One example is English 20w and English 22. Normally these are two 16-week courses that would take two semesters to complete. For Fall 2016, these courses will be paired together for a total of 6 credits in one semester. Upon completion of these courses, a student would then be eligible for ENG 102. 

Who is affected by these changes? 

Students who have placed below the 100 level in reading, writing and/or math. How these students are affected depends on their major, their requirements for their major, and where they are in their progression of courses. 

Are there also changes to how students are placed into developmental courses? 

Yes, the Compass test is being phased out. New “qualifiers” will be used to determine what English and math classes students are ready to take. These new qualifiers include past performance in high school, such as GPA and assessment test scores. (See the full list of the new “qualifiers” at this link:

It is possible that currently enrolled students meet these new qualifiers and that will allow them to advance to a higher course level.

When do students need to pay attention to these changes? 

Now! Students should talk to their counselors to see if these changes impact them. Registration begins April 11th. Students should know how these changes might affect them as they register for classes. 

Contact the Counseling Office with questions or for more information (808) 934-2720